This volume of critical essays provides a long overdue survey of food culture and politics represented in global literary modernisms. The links among what we eat, the production and representation of food, and the resulting global impacts in culture and society are increasing contemporary issues largely dating back to the early twentieth century. Gastronomy signals many social, cultural, and ecological concerns that emerge in the modernist period because of an enlarging social food culture, with expanding food systems in factories and abattoirs to accommodate such growth. At the same time, food supplies were rationed due to wars and economic depression.
The response of modernist writers, playwrights, and poets to modernity and urbanization occurs not only through formalistic literary techniques, but also in the overt themes and settings related to food culture. Modernists famously explored public and domestic spaces where food and drink are prepared and served, such as cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, pubs, brasseries, kitchens, or dining rooms. Gastro-Modernism ultimately shows how global literary modernisms engage with the food culture known as gastronomy to express anxieties about modernity as much as to celebrate the excesses modern lifestyles produce.
Derek Gladwin is Assistant Professor in Language and Literacy Education at University of British Columbia. His authored or co-edited books include Eco-Joyce (co-ed, 2014), Unfolding Irish Landscapes (co-ed, 2016), Contentious Terrains (2016), and Ecological Exile (2018). Please visit www.derekgladwin.com.